It's just more proof you can't ride the crazy train to a title.
We know the scenario. Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant are going at it under the basket. Artest is getting low and pushing Kobe out of the way. Kobe throws an elbow back, and Artest gets the foul call.
Ok, the foul call was borderline but I can see how it gets called. Artest disagrees and makes a scene of it with the refs. Technical foul. Easy call. At that point, a player needs to back off and shut up. You've already hurt your team by getting the technical foul.
But does Ron Artest do that? Nope. He has to keep going. Yes, he got hit in the throat with an elbow. The refs either missed it or refused to call it. That doesn't matter. What matters is that at the point where Ron Artest needed to back off, he stepped on the gas. He ran over to Kobe saying "hit me in the throat again… hit me in the throat again." Then he made what looked to be a throat-slash gesture (he swears he was motioning more about the elbow to his throat) and he gets run. Even when he's tossed, he still doesn't leave the floor.
It's a 10 point game with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Ron Artest is a key to Houston's success. Unfortunately, Ron is so caught up in Ron, that he'll hurt his own team's comeback chances to make whatever point he was trying to make.
I get that he was pissed that he got the foul. I get that he was pissed that Kobe hit him in the throat with an elbow. But the Rockets are learning at a very bad time that hitching your wagon to Ron Artest could take you to places you didn't want to go, and at the worst possible time. It's easy to be seduced by his ability. If his head was on straight, he'd be a superstar. He does everything well. But there's a reason he's not. And we saw it last night.
By the way, if the league followed the letter of the law, Kobe should have been tossed. Here's the rule:
l. A player, coach or trainer must be ejected for:
(3) An elbow foul which makes contact above shoulder level
Trainer? Really? Were trainers really tossing 'bows to people's temples or something?
Anyway, the league will have to take another look at that. It's possible Kobe could be suspended. I'm not saying he should or shouldn't. I'm just saying that it's definitely possible.